If you work in an office, there’s no doubt that you’ve experienced the stresses of the workplace at some point or another. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to alleviate this stress and inject more fun into your office environment, as well as make your coworkers feel appreciated and valued! From celebrations of big milestones to simple gestures like bringing in treats or organizing a staff outing, here are 10 ways to inject more fun into the office!
1) Add a Kegerator
Have you ever heard of a kegerator? It’s a mini-keg dispenser that allows you to store, chill and dispense draft beer on tap. It’s perfect for small spaces such as apartments or offices because it doesn’t take up too much space—it fits easily on your countertop or in a cabinet, for example. And unlike other types of draft beer systems, it doesn’t have an external refrigeration unit. Be sure to clean it regularly and keep an eye out for potential leaks; be ready with paper towels in case you need to mop up some spillage! Office parties will never be boring again with a kegerator at your disposal!
2) Launch an Employee Competition
Office competitions have grown increasingly popular among HR departments, especially in larger companies where they can improve morale and encourage camaraderie among employees. They’re also a great way to help manage workplace stress. Launching a company-wide competition with company-wide prizes is an easy way for employees to feel like their voices are being heard, and that can go a long way toward increasing both productivity and happiness at work. Plus, studies show that contests with individual rewards—like gift cards or cash—generate more positive employee responses than those with team incentives.
3) Have a Throwback Lunch Hour
It’s fun, good for morale and helps create a sense of community. Plus, it gives you a chance to meet with people from different departments who may not have much chance to socialize otherwise. Instead of having lunch at your desk or ordering in, make an effort to step away and head out for lunch with co-workers every once in a while. It’s always better when you are enjoying food off campus!
4) Host Pictionary Night
At any office, it’s easy for interpersonal communication and camaraderie to fall by the wayside as employees get busy with day-to-day activities. Setting aside time each week for staff members to mingle and enjoy themselves can relieve stress levels and break up an otherwise boring work week. Whether you create a monthly Pictionary competition or set up a weekly Happy Hour, fostering a culture of fun will keep employees engaged—and your company happy!
5) Have Karaoke Night
While it might not seem like karaoke is that fun—especially if you have to hear coworkers sing out of tune, there’s something about being able to belt out your favorite song with friends that can relieve some stress. You’ll never know until you try it! Plus, a little embarrassing office fun will certainly beat discussing politics and it could be just what your team needs! What are you waiting for? Grab your mic and belt out Don’t Stop Believin’ tonight!
6) Take an Unexpected Break with Coworkers
When was the last time you spent time with your coworkers outside of work? Don’t know, don’t remember? It could be time for an unconventional office activity. An evening visit to a local brewery or dive bar can be just what you need for team bonding. After all, strong interpersonal communication skills are an important part of employee happiness and productivity; you want your coworkers to look forward to spending time together outside of work. (If beer isn’t your thing, consider some more conventional ideas like a weekend team retreat.) Your employees will appreciate you thinking of them during their free time, especially if they aren’t used to any company-sponsored activities.
7) Organize a Secret Santa Exchange
Secret Santa is a great way to add some fun back into your office. The idea is simple: Employees are assigned a secret Santa at random, and that person must buy a small gift (in $20-$50 range) for their Secret Santa recipient—all of which you can actually do online. And, rather than compete with one another, participants actually collaborate; shopping for someone else means you have less pressure in terms of what to get them! As an added bonus, Secret Santa can help create more interpersonal communication among coworkers; team members who otherwise may not interact with each other may now find themselves chatting about what they bought or planning holiday parties together.
8) Schedule Activities Outside of Work
It’s not uncommon for office-based jobs to involve long hours. People are tethered at their desks for long periods of time, which can make it challenging to create a healthy work-life balance. Long hours can contribute to stress and burnout, so if you feel like your job is taking over your life, try scheduling activities outside of work. This could be something as simple as going for a walk or talking with friends.
9) Organize an Appreciation Lunch
It’s a simple but meaningful way of saying Thank you. If your employees are working on stressful projects or have been crunching numbers, let them know how grateful you are for their hard work by organizing an appreciation lunch. After all, it’s easier to relax and be creative when you don’t feel worried about impressing your boss! You can organize a team outing with coworkers from different departments or schedule an individual appreciation date with each employee. The key is celebrating accomplishments and bonding as a group. Find out what makes your employees tick—it will help show them that you care about them, which will result in happier workers!
10) Take Your Coffee Breaks outside
If you work in an office with a number of other people, chances are you spend more time with those coworkers than with your family. It makes sense, then, that office dynamics should be more conducive to open and friendly interaction than those of a typical school or place of worship. If your workplace is starting to feel like somewhere between a death row sentence and an arena for unbridled torture, why not look at ways in which you can inject some levity into your environment? Try inviting coworkers out for coffee during breaks or lunch time—just make sure you do it outside!
Encourage office fun and communication by setting aside some time for employees to get together and bond. Go out to lunch or have a monthly after-work social gathering. If you can afford it, host special office events or company outings. It doesn’t take much money or effort, but it does require commitment from all employees in terms of getting along, enjoying each other’s company and participating. Even better: work hard during work hours, then get together on your own time if you feel like doing so.